ARMOR Group Opens 3D Printing Materials Plant In North America

ARMOR Group Opens 3D Print Materials Plant in North America
New US-based 3D printing material manufacturing plant [Source: ARMOR Group]

ARMOR Group announced the opening of new 3D printing materials manufacturing operations located near Cincinnati.

The France-based company has been operating in North America for some years, but to date has not begun production of 3D printing materials. Their ARMOR USA plant located outside of Cincinnati has been producing other plastic products, such as thermal transfer ribbons.

Now that’s changed. They have significantly expanded their plants floor space by an additional 30,000sf (2800sm) allowing for new activities. They’ve chosen to add several functions, explaining:

“From the initial space of 11,000 square feet, ARMOR USA has acquired its entire current building of 81,000 square feet and most recently in 2020 expanded another 30,000 square feet, creating 50% more space for new technical laboratories, a customer experience center, a training center and the space for the Kimya offering. Production of 3D materials and print production of services are now taking place in ARMOR USA.”

ARMOR Group has been producing 3D printer materials for some time under the more familiar Kimya brand, but in Europe. The news here is that the production is taking place in North America. I believe this is quite important.

The reasoning for my thought is simple: shipping.

3D printer materials, and in particular spools of filament, are a relatively low-priced item, but they are heavy. A typical single 1kg spool shipment can be pricey when compared to the price of the product itself.

This is especially true if shipping that spool from overseas, where significant end-user costs are added simply due to the shipping fees — and sometimes customs fees as well. This effect generally makes local producers of filament more dominant in regional markets.

There’s a way around this, of course, and that is to ship in bulk, so that the shipping costs are defrayed over many units. However, few individual buyers want a pallet of filament, so that option is usually effective only when local resellers buy in bulk from the overseas manufacturer. This is why overseas manufacturers are always seeking resellers.

But with the introduction of local production near Cincinnati, ARMOR Group will now be playing at the same level as other North American materials manufacturers, at least as far as shipping goes.

The result here will be the appearance of Kimya products with North American resellers at more competitive prices. This additional competition could drive down prices slightly in the large North American market.

Business Development Director of Kimya Pierre-Antoine Pluvinage said:

“This is the first time that our transformation process of semi-finished products into 3D filaments, has set foot outside of France. The United States is the world’s largest market for additive manufacturing, and since ARMOR Group already has facilities there, it seems only natural for us to start production there.”

ARMOR Group also seems to have subsidiaries in other countries, too, including Canada, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. If the Cincinnati venture succeeds, perhaps we’ll see them launch additional 3D print material manufacturing centers in more regional locations.

Via ARMOR Group

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